“In the studio, we have what we call archive drawers.
There’s ‘WORK IN PROGRESS,’ ‘BRACELET ARCHIVE,’ and one called ‘OBJECTS,’ that’s filled with different items I started collecting around the time I moved to New York, in ‘98 or ‘99.
I’m looking at manufacturing, the engineering, the composition, the material. It could be something as simple as a closure.
There have been moments when I’ve just said,
‘Fuck it,’ and bought a piece that I shouldn’t have.”
“This is something that’s definitely taken from yesteryear.
Some refer to it as a MINAUDIÈRE, others as a compact or NECESSAIRE.
It’s so elegantly composed; every detail has been thought about.
You rarely see this sort of construction today.”
“I sort of stumbled upon this sterling Hermès matchstick holder. It’s probably from the ‘20s. To me, the most interesting part — in addition to that it looks like a miniature armoire — is that it looks like it could be so many different things.”
“I worked for a few companies before starting my own, and the teams I worked with took trips to the BRIMFIELD FLEA MARKET, in Massachusetts. I think this [jewelry case] came from there.
It’s rare to find a piece with everything intact.
This is very special.”
“Little cases for all your necessities were commonly carried through the ‘20s and ‘30s, even into the ‘40s. The built-in coin slots held train fare.”
“This ORB PENDANT would be worn around the neck. It’s an elaborate locket, with nine reservoirs for images.
I think we found it in London. It’s older than a lot of what we typically bring into the studio.”
“I didn’t find the mini rolodex myself, it’s something one of my team members purchased.
We call it the metal black book.
The functionality is so specific to a bygone time. It’s American made, probably by a metalsmith in one of the big cities.”
“Today, you’d rarely walk into someone’s home and see a beautiful tabletop lighter. This was made in Japan, I think in the ‘60s or ‘70s. It looks like a sculpture.”
“Typically, these would be engraved if they were a gift. Sometimes it’s just the recipient’s name, but I’ve seen some engraved with messages.”
Photography by BRAMBLE TRIONFO
As told to Anthony Rotunno
Eddie Borgo is a jewelry designer based in New York City. His current collection is available online and in select retailers.